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While the economy around coffee grows, and Canada tops coffee consumption, the Amazon rainforest vanishes.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein is one of the most widely read children's books of all time. It follows the evolving relationship of a boy and a tree through their lives. Many interpret the tree as Mother Nature and the boy as humanity demonstrating how society has a tendency to exploit its natural resources.
Putting a price tag on nature is challenging. Some people don't believe it can be done. Some people hate the idea of it. Most will have no idea what it means. But there are new and emerging approaches to help us put a price on the services that forests, wetlands and grasslands provide to Canadians.
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You have probably bought forest products like lumber for a home reno or notepaper for school supplies and wondered how your purchase affects the forest it came from. You may feel guilty, but you shouldn't if the forest products you buy are harvested sustainably and certified to internationally recognized standards.
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As the eyes of the world move away from the medals table in Rio, for those of us in the sustainability business our focus shifts to Honolulu for the World Conservation Congress. Like the Olympics this is a big deal. Meeting once every four years, it is hosted by an affiliate of the UN, the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
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On June 6, much of the world will be celebrating World Environment Day, the annual United Nations day to raise awareness and action for the environment. As the UN puts it, World Environment Day is an "opportunity for everyone to realize the responsibility to care for the Earth and to become agents of change."
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Fires are a natural part of many boreal forest ecosystems, but the massive blaze raging in Alberta is a catastrophe that threatens human health, the economy and the environment. This current episode in the Fort McMurray area is remarkable in its size, extent and human impact. Data from the Global Forest Watch platform provide context on what's going on with Alberta's forest fires
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The island of Hispaniola, shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti, is a unique case study that explains how the exploitation of natural resources can directly affect the fate of a nation. That the two countries have starkly different trajectories is largely related to how they have historically managed their natural environment.
Without the forest and the economic activity it generates, the North Shore, the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and all the other forest regions of Quebec would not have experienced the same level of economic development that has benefited all Quebecers. However, forestry activity could fall sharply in the fairly near future.
Companies in a variety of sectors are not letting potential challenges hinder their efforts to achieve a deforestation-free supply chain, however. Rather than allowing potential roadblocks to hamper sustainability efforts, corporations are harnessing technological innovations to achieve environmental and business objectives.
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Earth Day is an important date on the calendar that puts the spotlight back on the planet. However, as we all grow more interconnected around the world with a greater ability to have an impact -- both positive and negative -- it's equally important to recognize that the principles of Earth Day can't be ignored the other 364 days of the year.
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These days, filling a large green plastic bag with paper and boxes is virtually unheard of in Canada. Thankfully. There is greater thought and consideration behind the reuse of products and how we can adopt more sustainable practices when celebrating our holiday festivities.
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If you've just been shopping at the supermarket or hardware store, chances are you've brought a little bit of tropical rainforest home with you. And chances are some of it was illegally cleared.
Environmentalists paint a dire picture of our forests, whereas in fact, as my colleagues Jasmin Guénette and Pierre Desrochers recently demonstrated, they're actually doing rather well.